And lo, across the capital there was much angst, as the Executive Branch did work on an intra-agency basis to draft a cybersecurity executive order. If you had doubts that this effort is a serious endeavor, it’s time to let them go. According to a report in The Hill’s Hillicon Valley blog, Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security, has stated that the darn thing is almost done.
However, it has to clear the top of the branch, meaning that while progress is being made, the President has yet to sign off on it.
How did we get here? In short, after a cybersecurity bill that the President promised to veto passed the House, and the Senate failed to pass anything, Congress became stuck. It’s the general consensus that until 2013, not much can be done on the matter over at the Legislative Branch.
That leaves us with executive action. For a breakdown of the proposed order itself, head here.
Why did I mention angst? Because the party of the Senate minority wishes for a bill more along the lines of what the House majority managed to cram through the lower house of Congress. That won’t happen, but hope springs eternal. And with the Senate as gummed and dysfunctional as a molar on a 120 year old smoker, options are slim.
There is another element to all of this that is quite humourous. The President’s proposed order places much authority and responsibility under Napolitano and her agency. The Hill report we mentioned earlier has a great line on just how prepped the Department really is:
Napolitano again urged Congress to enact comprehensive cybersecurity legislation, arguing the White House cannot completely address the threat on its own. She noted that DHS [Department of Homeland Security] is limited in the number of trained cyber personnel it can hire, which cannot be addressed by an executive order.
America, f*** yeah.
Top Image Credit: Muhammad Ghafari